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Wednesday 11 December 2019

Convicted killer's son told gardai chainsaw was 'stained and had piece of meat on it'

Paul Wells Jnr denies impeding the investigation into the
murder of Kenneth O’Brien. Photo: Collins
Paul Wells Jnr denies impeding the investigation into the murder of Kenneth O’Brien. Photo: Collins

A man accused of impeding the investigation into the murder of Kenneth O'Brien told gardai the chainsaw he disposed of was stained and had "a piece of brown meat" on it.

Paul Wells Jnr said he was giving a voluntary statement to gardai because he wanted the O'Brien family to get justice.

The father-of-one also said he did not know the chainsaw had been used to dismember the victim's body when he threw it into the canal.

The Central Criminal Court also heard that Mr O'Brien, whose dismembered remains were found in a suitcase in the Grand Canal, died from a gunshot wound to the head.

Beaten

Evidence has been given that the accused's father, Paul Wells Snr, shot Mr O'Brien before dismembering his body with a chainsaw.

Wells Snr, of Barnamore Park, Finglas, was jailed last year after being found guilty of murdering Mr O'Brien.

The jury yesterday was listening to garda interviews in the trial of Mr Wells Jnr (33), of Beatty Park, Celbridge, Co Kildare, who is charged with impeding the apprehension or prosecution of his father, Paul Wells Snr (51), in 2016. He denies the charge.

Det Sgt Padraig Cleary told prosecution counsel Michael Bowman that Mr Wells Jnr wanted to speak with gardai in relation to the murder of Mr O'Brien, so they met him at Leixlip Garda Station on February 5, 2016.

Mr Wells Jnr told them his father had constantly beaten him while he was growing up.

The accused said he was in the garda station that day because he could not "take it in his head any more".

Wells Snr had asked the acc-used if he knew of any dark places with no cameras, he said.

Mr Wells Jnr said he met his father in the car park of Tesco in Celbridge on January 16, 2016, and they went for a drive.

"He was really on edge and kept constantly looking over his shoulder. I thought I was going to be shot or hurt about something," he said.

Mr Wells Jnr said he heard four splashes when Wells Snr got out of the car by the canal.

The accused said he had thrown the motor of a chainsaw, which smelt strongly of bleach, into the canal opposite Carton House in Maynooth.

"When Gary [the accused's brother] gave me that bag, he said, 'Da said to give you this'. I stood outside Carton House considering what to do... I knew he [Wells Snr] would have no problem getting me killed," said Mr Wells Jnr.

"I didn't want to hinder the investigation. I didn't know it was used for this."

Mr Wells Jnr said he nearly dropped to his knees when he heard on the news that the body of Mr O'Brien had been found.

Barbaric

"I'm here as I genuinely want that family to get justice. It's barbaric and disgusting that his family will have to bury him in pieces," he told gardai.

In relation to the chainsaw, the accused said he could see staining and "a piece of brown meat" on it, which he thought was dog meat.

In cross-examination, Det Sgt Cleary agreed with defence counsel Damien Colgan that it was quite obvious the acc-used was troubled in the garda station.

Following his voluntary interview, Mr Wells Jnr was arrested on suspicion of murder- ing Mr O'Brien.

He told gardai that he knew about the death of Mr O'Brien from what was on the news and then from the strange behaviour of his father.

The trial continues.

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